20 Sep Fundraising Event Trends for 2023: What’s Hot in the World of Charity Galas
When the pandemic hit, we saw nonprofits and fundraising events pivot in extraordinary ways. Offering more online giving, online connection with donors, and compelling asks to support difficult work were all essential.
Those trends have largely continued for the last two years and will likely continue even with our different circumstances – but there are a few specific trends to keep an eye on in 2023.
In-Person Events are Back
Digital fundraising has never been so popular, but that doesn’t mean in-person events are a thing of the past. On the contrary, one of the biggest fundraising trends for 2023 is getting back to in-person fundraising events.
Let’s take a quick look at the benefits of in-person and virtual fundraising events, so that your organization can decide which is best for the organization and supporters.
Benefits of in-person fundraising events:
- Socializing and networking are made easier – Social interactions are enhanced during in-person events. Often the donor’s attention span is shorter online.
- More personalized experience to build lasting relationships.
- More engagement and community spirit among attendees.
- Provide higher quality giving experiences.
Benefits of virtual fundraising events:
- Save money on many physical event incidentals such as catering and travel expenses.
- Transcend geographical and physical restraints – as long as people have access to the internet, they can connect from anywhere.
- People love gaming and online engagement tools, like live leaderboards and thermometers to track fundraising progress.
As you can see, both virtual and in-person fundraising events offer great benefits for your nonprofit and donors alike. With this in mind, hybrid fundraising events will continue trending in 2023.
Invest in the right on-site event technology
With in-person events making a strong come back, the technology you use on site at your events can have a huge impact on how smoothly an event runs. On-site event technology helps you relieve some stress when it comes to staffing events, while adding a fast way to distribute information to donors and get everyone checked into the event.
During the pandemic, there was a rise in the use of QR codes from restaurant menus to instruction manuals. QR codes are an easy way to lead supporters to event check in, donation forms, or other information about your organization and event. Event management apps are another useful tool for nonprofits to register event participants and collect in-person payments directly from a mobile device. These apps can help fix staffing issues for your organization, while also streamlining the registration process for attendees.
Use virtual tools to promote flexibility & accessibility
Despite the return of in-person events, hybrid events are a fundraising event trend that is here to stay. Adding a virtual aspect to an in-person event allows nonprofits to expand their fundraising reach past any physical restraints, such as location, scheduling, or any other obstacle that may keep their donors from attending in-person.
Any in-person event can be turned hybrid by adding a virtual aspect or tool to the event. The addition can be anything from livestreaming to an online raffle. One example of this is livestreaming a walkathon event and letting virtual participants upload their routes to an interactive map for everyone to see.
Another common type of hybrid event is silent auctions. Hosting a hybrid auction can allow donors to enjoy the auction night at a nice venue or bid on items on their phone from the comfort of their own home or while on the go. When done right, auctions can be one of the most profitable events for a nonprofit.
Provide Flexible Giving Options
With so many people feeling the pinch of economic uncertainty, it becomes more difficult for nonprofits to raise money from individual donors. One current fundraising trend to combat this is to offer flexible giving options that suit all your donor’s needs and budgets.
Be empathetic to your donors’ possible financial struggles at this time. Let them know you appreciate their donations.
This is also a great opportunity to suggest alternative ways for your donors to support your nonprofit’s mission like:
Providing In-kind donations – if they’re unable to send monetary contributions.
Launching different membership programs with more affordable rates and lower contribution levels to adapt to the donation frequency and financial accessibility of your donors.
Upgrade one-time donors to recurring donors to ensure a consistent income stream for your nonprofit, with a lower one-time burden on donors.
Make giving easy – with or without a physical wallet
As for 2023 fundraising event trends that you can’t ignore, different payment options will be prominent. More and more, donors look for flexibility when it comes to giving to nonprofits. You want to make donating as easy as possible, no matter the type of event, or if supporters are donating in person or online.
Digital wallets are becoming an increasingly popular payment method because it is quicker and simpler than inputting credit card information or writing a check. Offer your donors the ability to give with Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal, or Venmo so they can donate from anywhere at any time. It’s important to keep more familiar forms of payment available as well, for people who may not be comfortable with Apple Pay. Text-to-donate is another great option to provide supporters who want to donate on the go. Phones have become crucial in the fundraising world.
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